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===[TASK]=== Crowd Sourced - Judeans (Hasmonean) [Faction]


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On 2/27/2020 at 2:22 AM, Lion.Kanzen said:

Any new discovery to add? You are the expert here.

I do have some ideas for this faction:

Civ Emblem: Menorah

Hero Units: Judah Maccabee (led the revolt against Seleucid rule), Simon Thassi (a younger brother of Judah; established Hasmonean independence), Salome Alexandra (a wise and skillful ruler; last ruling queen of Judaea)

Wonder: Second Temple of Jerusalem (before Herod the Great's refurbishing)

Military: The majority of fighters in the initial revolt would have been irregular light infantry such as slingers.  Later on, as Maccabean forces grew in size, discipline, training, and equipment standardization, a typical soldier would have been armed and equipped along Hellenistic lines as a thureophoros type.  It's possible that phalanx spearmen were also present.  Cavalry, too, were used: light bow-and-javelin horsemen as well as heavier armoured Hellenistic spear cavalry.  Judah Maccabee is described as wearing a corslet, and wielding the captured sword of Apollonius, governor of Samaria.

Edited by Zophim
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22 minutes ago, Hidan said:

Double cornucopiae adorned with ribbons.


It came into use on the coins of the Hasmonean (or Maccabean) kings, and later on the coins of Herod the Great and his son Herod Archelaus via Hellenistic influence.  Coins of the Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, Seleucid Kings of Syria, as well as a number of ancient Hellenistic city-states depicted cornucopiae.

In a hard-to-find 1976 article in The Judaica Post, Ya’akov Meshorer


explains that “During the Hellenistic period, and in particular during the third to first centuries B.C.E., Greek culture spread all over the ancient world.  Its influence resulted in the Hellenization of the Oriental countries and nations. We can confidently say that during this period, all cultures of the Near East were influenced by the Greek culture. This does not mean that these peoples changed their religions or customs entirely. They simply adopted some of the new elements and produced a combination of eastern and western religions; this phenomenon is known as syncretism. Sometimes an Oriental cult kept its entire meaning and content, and changed only its name or shape of god. The same process occurred with respect to certain symbols which, although adopted from the Greeks by an Oriental religion, retained an independent Oriental significance.”

Basically, the cornucopia was an animal horn, hollow, and thus used as a container for many purposes. As the overflowing “horn of plenty”, it contained agricultural fertility symbols such as ears of grain, bunches of grapes, and pomegranates. On Hellenistic coins the cornucopia is often carried by Tyche, the city goddess, or Demeter, the goddess of the earth.

Paul Romanoff writes that “The cornucopiae appearing alone, without the goddesses…were abstract symbols. In this respect the horns of plenty were akin to Jewish symbols.”

In Ancient Jewish Coinage, Meshorer adds that “It is logical to assume that the symbol filtered into Judaism as an object related to fertility, and then acquired additional Jewish connotations…In Jewish life animal horns were used for a number of purposes, including as an oil container, an object to anoint kings, or as ‘shofars’-musical instruments of the temple service.”

The use of the animal horn as a hold for oil is referred to in the first Book of Samuel (16:13) during the coronation of King David: “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren.”

Possibly the horn of plenty became a symbol for the ancient Jews because of the legendary richness of the ancient Holy Land itself-the very land of milk and honey. We know, for example, that cornucopiae were used by the Jews in the Holy Land in the first few centuries C.E. not only on coins, but on other small objects such as seals, rings, amulets, and also in larger architectural contexts. A famous relief of a double cornucopia with a pomegranate between was found in the excavations of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and can be seen in The Israel Museum. It dates from the first century B.C.E. to the first century C.E.


On the coins of the earlier Hasmonean kings-Yehohanan, Yehudah, Yehonatan, and Yonatan-the double cornucopia also appears with the pomegranate between the horns. Occasionally the pomegranate has a different appearance, and some numismatists have described it as a poppy flower. But at this point I have seen enough examples where the design is very clearly a pomegranate, and we can say that variations from that specific motif are mainly due to the differing styles of the artisans who cut the coin dies.

Antigonus Mattathias (Mattatyah), the last Hasmonean king (40-37 B.C.E.), struck larger denomination coins with a double cornucopia and nothing between, coins with a single cornucopia,


and also coins with a double cornucopia containing an ear of barley (often referred to as an “ear of corn”, meaning, in fact, “barley-corn”) between the horns.

A variation of this design that appears on many small objects, but not on coins, shows a lily flower between the horns. Apparently this combination appears only on Jewish art.

During the period of Herod the Great, Meshorer writes, the cornucopia “seems to lose its Jewish nature; it was used in a different fashion by Herod the Great and his son Herod Archelaus, who replaced the pomegranates and ears of barley by a caduceus, a clearly pagan symbol.”


Herod apparently took great care that the symbols on his coins would not seem to be either too Jewish or too pagan, reflecting his attempts to bridge the two cultures with his own reign. Remember that Herod was a client of Rome and had taken over by force from the popular Hasmonean dynasty. What better reasons for him to try to toe the line between cultures. In this case the cornucopiae represent a Jewish element, and the caduceus, a pagan element.

After the time of Herod the Great the cornucopiae show up only a couple of times as symbols clearly intended to acknowledge local Jewish populations. City coins of Sepphoris (under Nero), Tiberias (under Trajan), and Neapolis (under Domitian) depict cornucopiae


as their singular reverse motifs.


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  • 1 month later...

n a brief note, the Hasmonean army, very early on, had Cavalry, and even the Macedonian Phalanx. I will provide evidence for this based on inference, chronology, and circumstantial evidence found in the 1st and 2nd books of Maccabees, and Josephus.

The Army 160-120

First let's discuss the use of Phalangites in the Hasmonean army. Until recently, I would have never put the words "Jewish Phalanx" together.

I must first point out that the Jews living in the Levant at the time did not revolt because of internal politics between Hellenized Jews, and traditional ones. This is a modern theory, and it does make sense, considering that the Seleucids had previously been magnanimous toward the Jews. It is also true that I Maccabees is incorrect in stating that Hellenism was being imposed upon "All of the Land". It wasn't. But it was being imposed in the Levant, since it was a piece of real estate Antiochus IV was bound and determined to hold on to. being "Hellenized" is true, but it was tied to loyalty to the Seleucid monarchy. We must remember that the Jews had been influenced by Hellenism for well over a century prior to the revolt. Jewish philosophy post-Alexander shows the influence of Greek thought, and that the Jews were some how opposed to the majority of Hellenistic culture is not true. That Jews were exclusivist, and opposed to intermingle with others, is only true in a very limited sense. Greeks and Romans had their own purification rituals and laws. So for Greeks to somehow view Jews as legalistic, or stringent in their laws and customs, is unlikely. In fact, universalism is much more important in Greek thought than Jewish. with a few, rare exceptions, the laws of the Torah exclusively to the Jews. The laws of the Torah were only once imposed upon another people, The Idumaeans. This may in fact be due to the Hasmonean priesthood's misinterpretation of Universalism, which significantly influenced Jewish thought post-Alexander, and not simply for the sole reason of assimilating the Idumaeans, though it was probably the primary purpose. So now we know that the "Hellenism" in Judaea, was quite prevalent, and it was only the the banishment of Jewish Law from the Jews themselves, and the possible imposition of Greek religion, that stirred the revolt. It is not a far cry to assume that the Jews in Judaea were exposed to Hellenistic weaponry and tactics in the century and a half between the Maccabee revolt and Alexander's conquest.

Now on the the "Jewish" Phalanx. I assume you guys are familiar with the argument in favor of a Macedonian Phalanx used by Judah's successors, but let's recap anyway. I'll summerize Bar-Kochva's argument.

Jonathan fought a battle near "Azotos" in which the I Maccabees describes it as lasting from morning to night, with two lines of infantry. That Thorakitai could withstand a Macedonian Phalanx that long is unlikely. So we the Jewish heavy infantry must have been armed in a similar (I would argue VERY similar) to the Seleucid line. Eleazar had fought at Beth Zacariah, in which Josphus claims that the Jewish infantry fought with an elephant "before the phalanx of both sides met". Of course, phalanx usually just means a line of infantry, but it never referred to light infantry. So we can conclude that the Jewish infantry was armed in a manner that could match phalagites, and elephants. Is there really any formation c. 160 other than the Phalangial Phalanx that can evenly match the Phalanx on relatively flat ground? Not really. The battle of Magnesia vs the Roman legions, succeeded only when the Seleucid cavalry was either driven off or outflanked. Even when Macedon was conquered by Rome, it was described by a Roman commander (X) as the most terrifying infantry formation he had ever seen. During the battle of Azotos, Jonathan was surprised by Seleucid horse archers, in which he told his main line of infantry, (Macedonian Phalanx, or something extremely similar), to stay put. This is not behavior for light infantry and if they did not have shield, and more importantly, armor, they would have been decimated. So we must conclude that they were either Phalangites, or so similar to phalangites as to function in the same manner, or very well trained Legionaries. But that they were "legionaries" has about a zero % chance of being true, so we are left with the former.

Now for cavalry. I must first start with a solid assumption in ancient warfare. That is that virtually all societies used cavalry, including those who did not place much importance on them. Greek Hippeis, were wealthy nobles who fought on horseback, the nature of hoplite warfare ends up being a contest of attrition, (and wills), without a "hammer" component. If the majority of Greek City state warfare was a matter of attrition, the male populace would have been adversely effected and would have left it's mark upon history, due to high casualties. Excluding high casualties, the battles would be very inconclusive, and the Peloponnesian war shows these effect, but no others. I am not an expert on that conflict, but I am sure there were a few of "decisive" battles. A good commander is likewise, not interested in a battle of attrition.

II Maccabees describes a Jewish Horsemen, named Dositheus, chased an attempted to kill the Seleucid commander Gorgias at the battle of Elesa. Dositheus was obviously accompanied by a unit of cavalry, since only a madman would chase a cavalry unit alone. I Maccabees also describes Simeon commanding a unit of cavalry in a battle c. 138. So we must conclude they had cavalry, and they probably had some type of heavy cavalry, probably borrowed from the Seleucids, since the Hasmonean cavalry left a good account of themselves vs the Seleucid cavalry.

The types of troop available of the early Hasmonean army are as such.

Light Cavalry, Heavy/ Semi-Heavy Cavalry, High quality slingers, varying skirmishers, Heavy Phalangial-like troops, and light to heavy Spear and Swordsmen.

On a final note on the Hasmonean arry, c. 160-120, we must remember that the books of Maccabees are good histories, but are biased, so as to portray the battles won as won only with Divine internvention. So it is probable that the numbers of the Hasmonean troops are diminished in the account, though I do not doubt they were probably outnumbered somewhat, and the odds were stacked against them. This is why the Seleucid troops are described in some detail, while Jewish armament is deliberately vague, so as to make them out to be poorly equiped, and rag tag, so to speak.



hasmonean flower.png

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other symbol historically is the Wineyard.



I need improve the form



Isaiah 5:1-7
Now let me sing to my Well-beloved
A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:
My Well-beloved has a vineyard
On a very fruitful hill.
He dug it up and cleared out its stones,
And planted it with the choicest vine.
He built a tower in its midst,
And also made a winepress in it;
So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,
But it brought forth wild grapes.
' And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?
And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:
I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;
And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will lay it waste;
It shall not be pruned or dug,
But there shall come up briers and thorns.
I will also command the clouds
That they rain no rain on it.'
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.


Jeremiah 2:21
Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality.
How then have you turned before Me
Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?


Hosea 10:1
Israel empties his vine;
He brings forth fruit for himself.
According to the multitude of his fruit
He has increased the altars;
According to the bounty of his land
They have embellished his sacred pillars.

TASK]=== Crowd Sourced - Judeans (Hasmonean) [Faction] - Game ...

we have the pal tree and the Lily.


Hosea 14:4-5


I will heal their apostasy,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
He will blossom like the lily,
And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon.

Song of Solomon 2:1


“I am the rose of Sharon,
The lily of the valleys.”

1 Kings 7:19-22


The capitals which were on the top of the pillars in the porch were of lily design, four cubits. There were capitals on the two pillars, even above and close to the rounded projection which was beside the network; and the pomegranates numbered two hundred in rows around both capitals. Thus he set up the pillars at the porch of the nave; and he set up the right pillar and named it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz

Coins of the Maccabean Hasmonean Era 166-37 BC. Messianic Star ...


While others minted a coins with either King or Priest on them, Antigonus II was the only other Hasmonean to mint a single coin with both priest and king on it. With Herod’s rebuilt of the temple in 18 BC, perhaps the Jewish temple was run down and in need of repair like in the time of Josiah. This encouraged their role as temple restorers


Meshorer “L” series: The smallest and most common coin featured a messianic star from Balaam’s prophecy. Jannaeus clearly invoked messiah-like symbolism for himself given he enjoyed independence from Rome 103-76 BC. Jannaeus’ name circles the outside of the star. Jannaeus is the only Hasmonean who used the messianic star symbol on his coins. The anchor is viewed as a symbol of Naval strength.

Meshorer “K17” series: This special issue “widows Mite” features quad messianic imagery of priest-King, star diadem. “King-Priest” are spelled in long extinct Paleo-Hebrew in between the rays of the star enhancing his messianic connection. “Of King Alexander” is on the flip side, implying that Jannaeus himself was the messiah. Being a priest of Levi he was resisted in his claims since the messiah was understood to be from Judah. Hebrews 7:14 was written to directly reinforce this historic error.


they copy the Macedonian Sun.


Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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  • Hasmonean Period (167 BC – 37 BC)

       The Maccabees headed the anti-Hellenization rebellion against the Greek Seleucids who controlled the land of Israel since 198 BC.  After a series of successful military campaigns they took control of Judea, liberated the land and created an independent Jewish country, known as the Hasmonean Kingdom (164-63 BC as independent state, and 63-37 BC as rulers under Rome).

   The Hasmonean kings built winter palaces in Jericho, and constructed fortifications along the roads to Jerusalem.

   These are the six construction phases of the palaces:

  • John Hyrcanus I (reigned 134-104 BC) builds the first winter palace in Jericho

  • 101 BC – His son, Alexander Janneus (reigned 104 BC- 76 BC) , builds a fortified  palace on a high mound on top of his father’s palace.

  • A large pool complex with pavilion added on its east side.

  • 76-67 BC – Alexander’s widow builds twin palaces for her two sons, south of her husband main palace.

  • 67 BC- one of the two twin palaces was enlarged, and storage rooms added east of the pools complex.

  • ~50 BC – Addition of a new elaborate bathhouse with heated ritual pool


Coin of John Hyrcanus I

    The palaces continued to serve the Hasmonean kings until their destruction by a powerful earthquake of 31 BC.

  • Early Roman Period (from 63 BC )

   Pompey the Great captured the land in 63 BC. The Hasmonean Kingdom became a Roman state client, and its territories were rearranged by Pompey. Jericho remained in the Hasmonean Kingdom territory.

  Pompey was engaged in a civil war with Julius Caesar and was killed in Egypt (48 BC).  Queen Cleopatra VII, ruler of Egypt since 47 BC, became the mistress of Julius.   After Julius was assassinated (44 BC), his General Mark Anthony (Marcus Antonius)  became Cleopatra’s lover. Mark awarded Cleopatra with parts of the Hasmonean territories – the coast cities and Jericho.

  • Herod the Great (37 – 4 BC)

    Herod the Great was a Jewish Roman client King of Israel (39 BC-4 BC). He was raised at the Hasmonean court, as his father Antipatris – son of a converted Edomite – was the chief minister of Hyrcanus II.  Herod was initially appointed at the age of 25 as governor in the Galilee in 49 BC. With great political skills and good contacts with Rome, he became King of the Hasmonean Kingdom in 36 BC.

   Herod initially built an alliance with Mark Anthony and Cleopatra. He had to pay taxes to Cleopatra for the area of Jericho which was given to her by Mark Anthony.  Herod built his first winter palace, a modest structure reflecting his inferior status in the leased area. The plan of the this structure, built in 35 BC, was rectangular  (87m by 46m), and was located 120m south of Wadi Qelt and 150m east of the edge of the foothills.

    After Octavian  (later called Augustus Caesar) defeated Anthony and Cleopatra in 31 BC,  Herod managed to convince the new ruler of his loyalty. In 30 BC Octavian/Augustus transferred to Herod territories which were previously lost during Pompey’s arrangements and following Cleopatra’s changes, and added new cities to his territory.  Jericho was now back again under Herod’s rule.



These pools may have been the place where the Hasmonean Aristobulus III, the high priest and brother of Herod’s wife Mariamne, was murdered in 36 BC. Herod feared that this handsome 17-year old youth, a descendent of the Hasmonean royal house, will replace him (an outsider) as King, due to pressure of the people of Israel on Mark Anthony.  Josephus wrote about the murder’s motive (Ant. XV 2):

  “Now this son was one of the greatest comeliness, and was called Aristobulus… When this letter was brought to Herod, he did not think it safe for him to send one so handsome as was Aristobulus, in the prime of his life, for he was sixteen years of age, and of so noble a family, and particularly not to Antony, the principal man among the Romans, and one that would abuse him in his amours…”.

   So King Herod conspired to have him drowned in the pool during a Sukkoth banquet organized by his mother.


West of the pavilion and pools complex was a high mound surrounded by a deep moat. Here was a fortified palace, which was built by Alexander Janneus on top of an earlier palace built by his father John Hyrcanus.

   The palace was protected by a 7m deep moat, 5m tall walls, and 3m high towers – a total of 15m high glacis wall. The entrance to the palace was from the pools complex on the northeast side. Water supply to the top of the palace was arranged by means of a siphon system, using ceramic pipes which can be seen in the remains of the mound. The waters came from an aqueduct system starting 400m west of the palace, where two aqueducts converged.



 Twin palaces of Queen Alexandra:

  Queen Alexandra Salome (Shlomzion), widow of Alexander, reigned from 76 BC until 67 BC.  Her sons, John Hyrcanus II and Aristobolus II, were positioned to succeed Alexandra, and she intended to ease the tension between the rival brothers. Therefore, she constructed twin identical palaces adjacent to the fortified palace and south of her husband’s swimming pools.



(d) Ancient Synagogue:

  Near the ruins of the Hasmonean Royal winter palace are the remains of the oldest known synagogue in Israel. It was built between the years 75-50 BC, probably during the reign of Queen Salome Alexandra (Shlomzion, reigned 76-67 BC, widow of Alexander Jannaeus).

  The structure complex covered an area of 28m by 20m, and was developed in 2-3 stages. It is made of mud bricks on a foundation of field stones, and includes a ritual bathing area, a courtyard flanked by seven-eight rooms, a genizah (storage of worn-out scrolls), and a rectangular main hall (16m by 11m) surrounded by a colonnade of 12 pillars resting on a raised platform. The platform supported a seating of 70 people. It is oriented to the west, facing Jerusalem, as in this photo.

 The synagogue complex and the palace were destroyed by the major earthquake of 31 BC (magnitude 7) which devastated the cities in the Western Jordan valley (such as Masada, Qumran and Jericho). Josephus Flavius wrote about this powerful quake (Ant. XV, Chapter 5): “At this time it was that the fight happened at Actium [BW: 31 BC], between Octavius Caesar and Antony, in the seventh year of the reign of Herod and then it was also that there was an earthquake in Judea, such a one as had not happened at any other time, and which earthquake brought a great destruction upon the cattle in that country. About ten thousand men also perished by the fall of houses…”.


(e) Herod’s Second palace:

  Herod the Great built a new palace in 30 BC on the north side of Wadi Qelt. His palace also was laid over the ruins of the Hasmonean palace and the twin mansions, which were severely destroyed by the earthquake and fire. The Hasmonean twin pools were now reconstructed to form a single pool, 32m by 18m in size. The main palace was constructed to the east of the pavilion and pool. It had two wings –

  • a north wing 58m x 33m in size, built around a courtyard (26m x 20m) surrounded on all sides by colonnades. On its south side was a Roman style dining room (triclinium).

  • a south wing with a pool, surrounded on all sides by colonnades,  and rooms on its south side.

The second palace continued to function together with Herod’s third palace.


(f) Herod’s third palace:

   Herod built a new (third) palace at the end of his reign, at ~14BC. Its location is close to Herod’s first palace, which is located 100m to the south. The new palace was planned at a greater scale, as Herod formally received the area of Jericho from Augustus in 30 BC and could boast his new status with these grand constructions.

  The grand palace, covering an area of 30 Dunam (7.5 acres), was composed of two wings across both sides of the valley of the Qelt stream. In this illustration, the palace is viewed from the south west, with Wadi Qelt in the middle flowing left to right.


Pools and pavilion – view from south east

  On the north wing was the main palace.  On the south wing was a high mound, where the royal reception hall was located. A bridge over the valley connected both sides.

  To the west of the south wing, along Wadi Qelt, was a large decorative garden named “the sunken garden”. It was bounded inside a rectangular structure, 145m in length and 40m in width. The south walls were sunken into the hillside, and had 48 decorative niches. In the center of the southern wall was large circular stepped structure, with plants growing in multiple levels.

   To the east of the southern mound was a large (90m x 42m) pool, which was used for swimming and sailing with small boats.

    The photo below, with a view towards the north east,  shows the northern wing of the palace, with the stream passing on its south (right) side. 

   The valley is dry, but during the winter time there are 2-3 occasional flooding events. The water supply to the palace and the gardens was therefore based on a network of aqueducts that conveyed spring water from several sources into reservoirs.



essianic Star “Widow Mite” Meshorer “L” and “K” series (Alexander Jannaeus Prutah): The messianic star coin is based upon the prophecy of Balaam in Num 24:17 and is used in the Dead Sea scrolls (see above). The Jews were looking for multiple men to rise as messiahs with different functions drawn from a variety of Bible prophetic texts. These coins draw from the imagery of star, crown/diadem king and priest. (see above) Remember that all the Hasmonean rulers were priests from Levi that ruled the people in a long dynasty from 166-37 BC. Messianic claims by Jannaeus did not go unchallenged given the widely understood idea that the Messiah was the branch of David from Judah. The “L” series coins is the most common Jewish coin ever minted and are very common in archeological excavations. This is the coin Jesus referenced in the story of the widow who put “two small copper coins” into the Jewish treasury. (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4) The author has excavated many “Meshorer K series” (MK = Hendin 1150) coins at Khirbet el-Maqatir with object numbers: “K series” KEM-1112 Cav1 2013; KEM-2855 W22 (tower) 2016; KEM-935 O21 2013; KEM-3144 surface 2016. The author also excavated on rate “K17 series” coin: KEM-644 ZH05 December 2011. (Meshorer K17 = Hendin 1151) The “L” series is also a messianic widow’s mite coin but the text of the name of the king is outside and encircles the rays of the messianic star. “K” series coins differ in that the name is spelled out INSIDE the messianic star, emphasizing the association of Jannaeus as possibly the messiah or perhaps “messianic-like”. Remember, the Jews views the messiah as a warrior king who would overthrow Rome. Alexander Jannaeus is the second Jew since the Babylonian captivity in 605 BC to enjoy true independence from a foreign nation. Jannaeus (103-76 BC) was a critically important ruler to the Jews who ensured the Greek Tanakh (Septuagint) was distributed in every synagogue around the world and inside Judea.


Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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  1. osephus Antiquities 13:229-299: (part quote) Hyrcanus Receives the High Priesthood, and Ejects Ptolemy Out of the Country. Antiochus Makes War Against Hyrcanus, and Afterwards Makes a League with Him. 1. (230) So Ptolemy retired to one of the fortresses that was above Jericho, which was called Dagon. But Hyrcanus having taken the high priesthood that had been his father’s before, and in the first place propitiated God by sacrifices, he then made an expedition against Ptolemy; and when he made his attacks upon the place, in other points he was too hard for him, but was rendered weaker than he, by the commiseration he had for his mother and his brethren, and by that only; (231) for Ptolemy brought them upon the wall, and tormented them in the sight of all, and threatened that he would throw them down headlong, unless Hyrcanus would leave off the siege; and as he thought that, so far as he relaxed to the siege and taking of the place, so much favor did he show to those that were dearest to him by preventing their misery, his zeal about it was cooled. (232) However, his mother spread out her hands, and begged of him that he would not grow remiss on her account, but indulge his indignation so much the more, and that he would do his utmost to take the place quickly, in order to get their enemy under his power, and then to avenge upon him what he had done to those that were dearest to himself; for that death would be to her sweet, though with torment, if that enemy of theirs might but be brought to punishment for his wicked dealings to them. (233) Now when his mother said so, he resolved to take the fortress immediately; but when he saw her beaten, and torn to pieces, his courage failed him, and he could not but sympathize with what his mother suffered, and was thereby overcome; (234) and as the siege was drawn out into length by this means, that year on which the Jews use to rest, came on; for the Jews observe this rest every seventh year, as they do every seventh day; (235) so that Ptolemy being for this cause released from the war, he slew the brethren of Hyrcanus and his mother: and when he had so done, he fled to Zeno, who was called Cotylas, who was then the tyrant of the city Philadelphia.  
  2. Josephus Wars 1:61-69: 5. (61) And now Antiocchus was so angry at what he had suffered from Simeon, that he made an expedition into Judea, and sat down before Jerusalem, and besieged Hyrcanus; but Hyrcanus opened the sepulchre of David, who was the richest of all kings, and took thence about three thousand talents in money, and induced Antiochus, by the promise of three thousand talents, to raise the siege. Moreover, he was the first of the Jews that had money enough, and began to hire foreign auxiliaries also.  6. (62) However, at another time, when Antiochus was gone upon an expedition against the Medes, and so gave Hyrcanus an opportunity of being avenged upon him, he immediately made an attack upon the cities of Syria as thinking, what proved to be the case with them, that he should find them empty of good troops. (63) So he took Medaba and Samea, with the towns in their neighborhood, as also Shechem and Gerizzim; and besides these, [he subdued] the nation of the Cutheans, who dwelt round about that temple which was built in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem; he also took a great many other cities of Idumea, with Adoreon and Marissa.  7. (64) He also proceeded as far as Samaria, where is now the city of Sebaste which was built by Herod the king, and encompassed it all round with a wall, and set his sons, Aristobulus and Antigonus, over the siege; who pushed it on so hard that a famine so far prevailed within the city, that they were forced to eat what never was esteemed food. (65) They also invited Antiochus, who was called Cyzicenus, to come to their assistance; whereupon he got ready, and complied with their invitation, but was beaten by Aristobulus and Antigonus; and indeed he was pursued as far as Scythopolis by these brethren, and fled away from them. So they returned back to Samaria, and shut the multitude again within the wall; and when they had taken the city, they demolished it, and made slaves of its inhabitants. (66) And, as they had still great success in their undertakings, they did not suffer their zeal to cool, but marched with an army as far as Scythopolis, and made an incursion upon it, and laid waste all the country that lay within Mount Carmel.  8. (67) But then, these successes of John and of his sons made them be envied, and occasioned a sedition in the country; and many there were who got together, and would not be at rest till they brake out into open war, in which war they were beaten. (68) So John lived the rest of his life very happily, and administered the government after a most extraordinary manner, and this for thirty-three entire years together. He died, leaving five sons behind him. He was certainly a very happy man, and afforded no occasion to have any complaint made of fortune on his account. He it was who alone had three of the most desirable things in the world—the government of his nation, and the high priesthood, and the gift of prophecy; (69) for the Deity conversed with him—and he was not ignorant of anything that was to come afterwards; insomuch that he foresaw and foretold that his two eldest sons would not continue masters of the government; and it will highly deserve our narration to describe their catastrophe, and how far inferior these men were to their father in felicity
  • Judeans recluts Auxiliars.
  • Mount camels yey.

The Hellenistic period saw the reoccupation of the site of Beit She'an under the new name "Scythopolis" (Ancient Greek: Σκυθόπολις), possibly named after the Scythian mercenaries who settled there as veterans. Little is known about the Hellenistic city, but during the 3rd century BCE a large temple was constructed on the tell.[25] It is unknown which deity was worshipped there, but the temple continued to be used during Roman times. Graves dating from the Hellenistic period are simple, singular rock-cut tombs.[26] From 301 to 198 BCE the area was under the control of the Ptolemies, and Beit She'an is mentioned in 3rd–2nd century BCE written sources describing the Syrian Wars between the Ptolemid and Seleucid dynasties. In 198 BCE the Seleucids finally conquered the region.


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This thread has some information, although a few units are only hypothetical (IE Cataphracts) 


I`d say one of those palaces (Either Herod`s third palace or Jannaeu's fortified mountain palace) you posted would make a good wonder.

Alongside with Judah Maccabee, Herod and Jannaeus could be the heroes.

I am not sure how to portray the Second Temple of Jerusalem; maybe it could be a unique building who is a kind of a sub-wonder, a super-temple required to reach phase III  that can train a high priest (Special priest with build limit of one) and provides some sort of bonus (Territory expansion, buildings harder to capture, nearby units fight harder) but also a malus if destroyed.

I am also unsure if it should be a additional structure alongside the normal temple (Synagogue); or if it should straight up replace the temple (With the Synagogue being a civ center).

Or maybe it should not be in game, to avoid controversy on it being a destructible structure ?

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...
14 minutes ago, Yekaterina said:

How about we add Jesus as a hero to this civ? We can make him a healer hero who also gives HP boost aura and cheaper temples. 


No disrespect intended

for many people it is God, in addition Jesus lived at the end of this age, after Herod's death 

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1 minute ago, Yekaterina said:

I have played all of those but they are for A23. If there are no major changes in file type and heirachy then I can take those models for granted

I don't pay much attention to them.


The ideal is to continue developing, Some factions/civs will included in the game.

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